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The Impact of Climate Change on Africa

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The Impacts of Climate Change on the continent of Africa

The African continent makes the least contribution to global warming, yet it is the most vulnerable to climate change- explain why?

Africa is the continent that makes the least contribution to global warming, but yet it is the most vulnerable to climate change. This may be because the population is dependent on resources which are climate-sensitive such as local water for farming and drinking. Africa is the poorest continent in the world which means it has very limited resources to respond to changing climate.
Apart from poverty is suffers more than any other region from corrupt governance, civil war and constant tribal conflicts. The political turmoil means the appropriate responses aren’t made, making the impacts of climate change worse.
The country also heavily relies on agriculture (70% of all employment), which is highly sensitive to climate change. Only 4% African farmland is irrigated, making agriculture susceptible to drought. These people have a reduced capacity to cope, e.g. subsistence farmers, who only grow enough to meet the needs of their family and have no income, will be at risk of starvation it climate change affects their crops.
Future prediction

Areas that are already dry (arid and semi-arid environments) are getting drier. Wetter areas (tropical and sub-tropical environments) are getting wetter. The whole continent is getting warmer – around 0.5 *C warmer in the last century.
Impacts of global warming

Global warming is causing desertification- the process by which fertile land becomes unusable for agriculture. It’s a major problem in the Sahel region (the belt between the Sahara desert and the fertile area to the south). This causes a decreases in agricultural production, which leads to more poverty, unemployment, malnourishment and starvation.
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